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Actual versus Perceived Transparency: The Case of the European Central Bank

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  • Carin van der Cruijsen
  • Sylvester Eijffinger

Abstract

Central banks have become more and more transparent about their monetary policy making process. In the central bank transparency literature the distinction between actual and perceived transparency is often lacking. However, as perceptions are crucial for the actions of economic agents this distinction matters. We investigate the mismatch between actual and perceived transparency and its relevance by analyzing data of a Dutch household survey on the European Central Bank's transparency. A discrepancy between actual and perceived transparency exists because of incomplete and incorrect transparency knowledge and other (psychological) factors. We find that respondents with relatively high transparency perceptions are more likely to have more trust in the ECB and better alligned inflation perceptions and expectations. Therefore, it might be beneficial for a central bank to increase transparency perceptions, either by improving its actual disclosure practices or by focusing on its transparency strengths in its communicationpolicy.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department in its series DNB Working Papers with number 163.

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Date of creation: Jan 2008
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Handle: RePEc:dnb:dnbwpp:163

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Keywords: Central bank transparency; Perceptions; Survey; CentERpanel; Behavioral Economics;

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  1. Maarten van Rooij & Annamaria Lusardi & Rob Alessie, 2007. "Financial Literacy and Stock Market Participation," NBER Working Papers 13565, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Robert J. Shiller, 1997. "Why Do People Dislike Inflation?," NBER Chapters, in: Reducing Inflation: Motivation and Strategy, pages 13-70 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  5. N. Nergiz Dincer & Barry Eichengreen, 2007. "Central Bank Transparency: Where, Why, and with What Effects?," NBER Working Papers 13003, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  7. Maria Demertzis & Andrew Hughes Hallet, 2003. "Central Bank Transparency in Theory and Practice," DNB Staff Reports (discontinued) 105, Netherlands Central Bank.
  8. Eijffinger, Sylvester C W & Geraats, Petra M, 2002. "How Transparent are Central Banks?," CEPR Discussion Papers 3188, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Rabin, Matthew, 1997. "Psychology and Economics," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt8jd5z5j2, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  10. Carin van der Cruijsen & Sylvester Eijffinger, 2007. "The economic impact of central bank transparency: a survey," DNB Working Papers 132, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
  11. Petra M. Geraats, 2007. "The Mystique of Central Bank Speak," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 3(1), pages 37-80, March.
  12. Ulrike Malmendier & Geoffrey Tate, 2004. "CEO Overconfidence and Corporate Investment," NBER Working Papers 10807, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  15. John Hudson, 2006. "Institutional Trust and Subjective Well-Being across the EU," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(1), pages 43-62, 02.
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Cited by:
  1. Carin A.B. van der Cruijsen & Sylvester C.W. Eijffinger & Lex H. Hoogduin, 2008. "Optimal Central Bank Transparency," DNB Working Papers 178, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
  2. Federica Teppa & Corrie Vis, 2012. "The CentERpanel and the DNB Household Survey: Methodological Aspects," DNB Occasional Studies 1004, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.

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